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Ampeg BA-115 Help, GAH!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MistaMarko, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. MistaMarko


    Feb 3, 2006
    I've read that these amps sound bad unless they are sitting right in front of a wall, and that they use the tuned ports for room proximity to amplify the sound. I had a concert deal in a gymnasium and we had to set up in the middle of the gym, no walls around, and the gym was pure cinderblocks and tiled floors. Talk about my amping sound like complete garbage. Sounded distorted, overdriven, fuzzy, sputtery, just nasty. Then I take it home and it sounds awesome. After a year of having it I still can't seem to find a nice EQ setting that doesn't bottom out and/or sound good but be at a reasonably good volume.

    Few questions I have:

    1. Which is better...lower MASTER VOLUME and higher VOLUME or vice versa? (master volume/volume knobs on the amp).

    2. The pick-up knob on my bass...is it a good idea to have this turned all the way up as well as the bass volume? Just somewhere I figure I'm overdriving the signal considering between my bass and my amp I have 4 different knobs that involve volume and speaker listening levels.

    I use active pickups and I AM using the -15dB input. My bass is 18V impedance from the pickups, 2 9V batteries and all.

    Help would be appreciated, thanks guys...
  2. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Tuned ports are designed to the speaker/cab setup. Due to the port being in the back, you've been misinformed that it needs a wall to be effective. The frequency output from the port is very low and unidirectional. Being against a wall or corner helps, but that has nothing to do with the amp, any amp will benefit from this.
  3. Kephah


    Oct 1, 2006
    M-I-Z-Z-O-U !
    Just to let you know the BA-115 only has 100 watts so in a gym you were surely underpowered unless you had PA support.

    I generally run the gain just a hair lower than my volume.

    BTW I used mine with PA support in a pretty large church (seats 200+) this past weekend and it really just filled the room up- it just made me smile the whole time!
  4. Think about the acoustics of a gym and then compare that to a room in your house - smaller, probably carpeted, and with other materials that absorb reflections of sound better. I would expect any amp in a gym to sound bad just because of acoustics. Sounds waves are probabaly going everywhere and being reflected several times.
  5. Played in the gym of an abandoned school that a group of bands rent out from time to time for my first gig. My BA-115 handled it really well. Could have taken the room on by itself if I wanted it to, but for the sake of matching my bands volume, we mic'ed it. But it did help slightly to push close to the back wall we played up against.

    And for your other questions: I use a passive Fender Jazz usually, and I keep the volume on the pickups (one soloed maxed, or both maxed at the same time) maxed most of the time. Even with my Active Peavey, I keep the master volume maxed, and use the amps volumes.

    And on the two volume controlls. I usually keep both of mine at around 1 o'clock, which should be '6' on the amp. With both at that setting, I get most of the volume I need.

    Perhaps 15" speakers aren't for you. Not everyone loves thier sound, and a lot of people find them 'boomy.' I personally find that 15" speakers have the most color to the tone, and I prefer them to just about anything else. I'm looking to buy a 2x15 for bigger gigs, and I might keep the BA-115 around for smaller stuff.
  6. MistaMarko


    Feb 3, 2006
    Great help...and I pretty much knew I was being overpowered in a gym and all, and soon as I heard that I kept nudging up the volume and then it became distorted and I figured I might've turned the volume up "the wrong way"...so that's why I was asking.
  7. GibsonEB3


    Jan 3, 2007
    Can someone explain the volume and the master controls on the BA-115? I have one but have lost the paper that came with the amp. Both knobs seem to control volume. What's the difference between them? I just bought a Schecter 5 string with active. Should I be using the .15Db jack? Sorry if these questions are ridiculous sounding to you. I have been playing bass for over 30 years, but obviously I am not a gearhead. Been reading a lot of older threads but can't seem to find the info. Thanks.
  8. JeremyBender


    Oct 22, 2001
    If you're using a passive bass, plug into the 0db input.

    If you're using an active bass, plug into the -15db input.

    The difference between the volume controls is VOLUME controls the signal your instrument sends to the pre-amp, and MASTER controls overall volume of the amp. If you're setting up for a gig, set your MASTER to 7 or 8 for example, and start adjusting your VOLUME control as you raise the volume on your bass. Find a happy medium. If you get distortion at high volumes, you can lower the gain, or VOLUME, or keep that higher and lower your bass's volume from the bass itself. I hope that makes sense.

    Also, just so you're aware, get the manual for the amp here http://www.ampeg.com/manuals/BA-115.PDF
  9. I´m not sure I understand. I´m not familiar with the Cirrus, but on your bass, you should have
    - a volume pot
    - a pick up blend pot
    - a 3-band EQ with pots for treble, mid and bass

    Turning the volume on your bass up all the way should not be a problem if you use the -15 db input and if you set the onboard EQ properly.

    The "pick-up knob" is for blending the neck and bridge pu-s, it´s not a volume pot.

    Re. the 3-band EQ on your bass, boosting the bass all the way is not a good idea. It eats up lots of amp power and sounds boomy especially in rooms as you have described. Try setting the EQ flat, i. e. all three pots in center position. Do that on your amp as well and go from there.
  10. GibsonEB3


    Jan 3, 2007
    Hey thanks much for the info. That is exactly what I was looking for. Also thanks for the link. I should have checked the Ampeg site.

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